[ RadSafe ] Re: Any experience in detection of polonium

Johansen, Kjell Kjell.Johansen at nmcco.com
Tue Dec 12 15:04:01 CST 2006

Because Ed Baratta chimed in on detecting Po-210 via plating on Ag-disks
I thought I would mention a cheaper method.  While doing radiometric
dating of sediment cores at The Univiersity of Michigan back in the
'70s, we originally started out plating Po-210 onto Ag disks.  Then we
found that it was cheaper to use Cu disks.  They worked just as well.
The Po-210 is extracted using HCl, pH of the plating solution adjusted
to 1.5, use ascrobic acid to prevent interference by Fe, place mylar
tape on the back side of the disk, place disk in the solution and
stir/shake for about 2 hours at 80 degrees C.  This should produce a
clean sample for either gas flow proportional counting or for alpha
spec.  Worked well with >90% recovery.  Any published paper on
radiometric dating such as those found in the J. of Environmental
Radioactivity should provide a reference to the methodolgy.  I believe
the plating onto Ag disks was based on a paper by Flynn back in the

Kjell Johansen
Point Beach Nuclear Plant
Two Rivers, WI 54241

Usual disclaimers apply.

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